Springtime Water Safety for Dogs

So, at last it’s spring! The almost all of the snow has melted in our mountain town and across the country, people are getting out more and enjoying the warmth and sunshine. But don’t forget that along with warmth and snow melting, comes higher rivers and even flooding in some areas. Add to that, the fact that not all of the ice has melted in some colder places, you have a potentially dangerous situation that could affect you and your dog.

We all want to take to the trails and hike, now that we can get around easier and the weather has changed, but before you head out, whether it’s for a little stroll around your neighborhood, or a hike in the woods, make sure you can control your dog and that you keep your eyes and ears open at all times.

There are two issues you need to keep on your mind in order to keep your dog safe and yourself too; fast, deep waters and weak ice.

Fast rivers and streams can deceive the most careful pet owner, simply because you might not think that your dog would head into something flowing that hard, but not only is that not the case, a lot of dogs head down to the water’s edge and fall in. Some dogs just don’t judge the velocity and jump on in because that’s what they did last summer, and then they find themselves in a lot of trouble. The fast moving water isn’t really the problem; it’s the objects in the water that can cause the hazards. Strainers are obstacles in the water that water can flow through and over but you (and your dog) can’t, causing the swimmer to be pushed up against or under them. Not all strainers are visible above the water, but the most common are logs and trees. Another hazard is a hydraulic (or Maytag or washer). When the water flows over an object, it creates a strong churning on the other side that is like a recycling motion, continuously pulling the swimmer back under water.

No matter what the obstacle, you need to be constantly on the alert and keep your dogs away from the edge of fast moving rivers and streams, and don’t forget, they can slip in just as easily as the rest of us, so keep them away.

Many people are aware of the dangers of ice breaking and someone falling through, and this isn’t any different for animals. Sadly, we’ve been involved in several ice rescues of pets and very often, we were too late to help. Right about now, some bodies of water can still be ice covered and look just fine to a pet, but the ice can easily break, causing them to fall in and most likely under, some intact ice.

All of these water hazards have 2 things in common; they can kill your dog, and they can kill you when you try to rescue them.

So in conclusion, please prevent the problem by watching your dogs carefully and monitoring the conditions around you while you’re out and about in this beautiful weather. Let’s all make this a safe and fun spring!

Pet Friendly Holidays

With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s time to take some simple steps to ensure that everyone in your family has a great holiday, and that includes your pets. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be discussing the best ways to keep your four-legged friends safe, happy and holiday ready.
Some of the subjects we’ll be discussing are foods, decorations, house guests and to round out all the serious talk, a few gift ideasallhailthedog for your pets and your pet loving friends and family.
Since we all like to enjoy and indulge a little more than usual this time of year, we’re going to cover some food safety tips first. First off,
Chocolate is probably the most commonly known hazard to dogs, so how on earth do they still get into it? Easy, it smells great and frankly, we’re just not paying as much attention to these things as they are. If you have any doubt and you’re not embarrassed to try something a little strange. Next time you have a gathering at your home, even just when the family is getting dinner ready, sit yourself down on the floor, be really quiet and just watch for a few minutes. Now do you see? Just seeing things the way our dogs and cats do opens up a whole new world of understanding. Parents are nodding their heads right now because toddlers do the same thing. Just a few precautions and a minute of paying attention can save you all a lot of grief. Place foods gifts, holiday treats and party food out of the easy access zone for you pets and keep an eye out for the agile and determined. Other foods to be careful with are raisins, grapes, garlic, onions, macadamia nuts, avocados, cinnamon, popcorn and anything seasoned and salty, just to be safe. I know a lot of animal experts advise to NEVER feed human food to your pets, and on the whole, we agree. That said, there are some very safe treats that can be enjoyed by dogs and cats if you do it in moderation. Cheese and turkey are 2 great examples, again, just make sure they’re plain and not seasoned.
More tips to follow, but if you have some fun holiday traditions that you share with your pets, please share them with us, we’d love to hear from you!

Preventing dogfights and other aggressive behavior.

robinswoodWhat does it look like when a dog is about to start a fight? Other than really knowing your dog and understanding their body language there a couple of signs that everyone can look for, in your own dogs and others as well.

Stiff body/neck; watch your dog play with a friend and then watch when they see a new dog that they’re not so sure about, what do you see? Stiff, slightly raised neck, stiff legs, raised shoulders and hackles, if they get close enough, you could see bared teeth as well, or just wrinkled lips. These are the most obvious signs and can roll over into the next one;

Change in play behavior; let’s say the dogs are already playing, pay attention to their body language to see if attitudes are altered along the way.

Dogs actually have pretty strict rules about play behavior. The play bow is an invitation to play, as well as an apology if one dog was too rough as in “sorry, didn’t mean to nip so hard”. Dogs, coyotes and wolves all ostracize others who don’t play by the rules. Biting too hard, nipping too close to the eyes and excessive roughness in any form are all a part of the canine “moral code”.

So now you know what to look for, what do you do when you see it?

The quickest, easiest and safest way to diffuse a potential fight is to remove the threat of proximity; that means, if you’ve trained your dog well, a sharp “this way” or “come” or “here” in addition to you moving rapidly away as well, is all it would take to change your dogs direction, moving him away and almost guaranteeing that there won’t be a fight. If you don’t have that ability to get your dogs attention, maybe throwing a ball or toy could do the job for you.

Picking up the smaller dog. This is a fast way to move a dog you trust not to bite you and again remove the threat and cool down aggressive behavior. But. You could get a nip form the little dog, or worse, make yourself a target for the other dog. That said, I would always err on the side of the little dogs safety and pick them up. Unless they’ve already engaged in a major way, you will most likely be just fine, especially if you turn your back on the other dog.

Lastly, I have been able to grab the attacking dogs’ collar while straddling it from the back. This has a lot of risk to all parties, including becoming the focus of the attack, losing control of the dog and lastly, not finding a way to let go. Yeah, I said it, because at some point you’re going to have to let go and I’m hoping you’ve been able to come to some sort of an understanding by then.

Whatever the situation, I can only hope that you and your dog can better navigate the complex social world of dogs after reading this, and please write in with questions or comments.

Salmonella Dog Food Contamination

Good morning readers, just a quick note today to let you Bravo dog foods and they’re being recalled due to all know about another dog food recall, this one is for salmonella contamination. The foods that they’ve recalled are listed below.

She doesn’t want her picture taken, she wants to eat

Whether you feed you dogs this brand or any other, knowing the symptoms of salmonella infection is important for any pet owner.

Pets can exhibit lethargy and loss of appetite; other symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, fever and signs of abdominal pain and cramping. It’s important to note that humans are at risk as well just from handing the contaminated food without washing up very well afterwards. Please remember that all pets react differently when in pain or discomfort. Your observations of your pet when they’re well will help you determine quickly when they aren’t. The more you pet, play with and groom your pet, the better you’ll be able to spot abnormalities. I personally know several dogs and cats whose owners saved their lives by noticing even the tiniest of changes. Check the list below to make sure you aren’t feeding any of these foods and then go find a toy and spend some quality time with your furry friend, don’t forget to buy only the best food and dog treats for the dogs in your life.

The following products were recalled:

Raw Food Diet Bravo! Turkey Blend for Dogs and Cats
Size: 2 lb. (32 oz.) plastic tubes
Best used by date: 11-05-15
UPC: 829546311025

Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend Diet for Dogs and Cats
Product Number: 21-102
Size: 2 lb. (32 oz.) plastic tubes
Best used by date: 08-11-16
UPC: 829546211028

Premium Turkey Formula Bravo! Balance Raw Diet
Product Number: 31-405
Size: 5 lb. (80 oz.) 2.3KG plastic tubes
Best used by date: 11-05-15
UPC: 829546314057

Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend Diet for Dogs and Cats
Product Number: 21-105
Size: 5 lb. (80 oz.) 2.3KG plastic tubes
Best used by date: 08-11-16
UPC: 829546211059

In addition, Bravo is voluntarily recalling all sizes (2 lb., 5 lb. and 10 lb.) of Bravo Chicken Blend(s), Bravo Turkey Blend(s), Bravo Balance Chicken Balance and Bravo Balance Premium Turkey Formula frozen raw diet products with “best used by” dates between June 20, 2016 and Sept. 18, 2016. The company says it’s doing that out of “an abundance of caution,” as there has been no evidence of an issue involving those products.

Dog Park Clean Up

This past Saturday was a great event for event patrons of the Warm Springs “Dog Park” in Ketchum Idaho.

Clean up crew

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this location, the “Dog Park” lies on the former site of a golf course and restaurant. It also happens to be located on some of the most beautiful acreage you’re likely to see. It looks far more like the rolling lawns of a huge estate and yes, we get to walk our dogs on this!
Having been to dog parks across the country, I’m sure most of us are aware of the huge range in quality you can find on any given stretch of open ground that’s been designated as a place for dogs to meet, greet, run and play. That said; you’ve never seen anything like this. And even though you could say that those of us who live out here amongst some of the most beautiful wild places to hike, ski, bike, run and fish are just about the luckiest people around, (you’d be correct), we are like anyone else in that sometimes (OK a lot of the time), you need to be able to let your dog run and play without it being a long excursion into the back country. Enter the ‘Dog Park” to end all dog parks. Now my readers will know that I’ve been a dedicated traveler and blogger about pet friendly places, hotels, trips and so on, and you’ve seen and heard about some of the better and some of the could-do-a-lot-better dog spots around. This spot is far and beyond the nicest place you’ll ever stroll and it’s right in town.
Privately owned and maintained, the Warm Springs Ranch is also home to a vibrant Frisbee golf community as well.

Stick 'em up

Stick ’em up

On any given day, you’ll also see someone practicing Tai Chi, 5 or 10 dogs madly chasing each other, balls or squirrels (although oddly enough, NOT the Frisbess) as well as a few people just stretching their legs on their lunch break.

As the “park” grew in popularity however, some problems grew along with it, namely dog waste. It seems that some were taking advantage of the generosity of the property owner and the hard work of the property manager and not bothering to pick up after their pooches. To be fair, there was also evidence of some teenager partying going on as well. As the problem grew, signs were posted warning people to be responsible or else the area would be closed off to the public. This led to AllHailtheDog.com and Idahound Dog Food Company to arrange a park clean-up party. We’re happy to say that not only was the clean-up effort successful, but a lot of fun was had with a dog trick contest and some dog and dog people socializing.
Did I mention that even people without dogs showed up to help? Yep, it was that much fun, in fact the winner of the Most Poop Collected category was a mom and her young son and they don’t even own a dog!

Winner!

Winner!

Another winner was a very young girl and her pound dog Chihuahua mix Heidi. After a fabulous performance of dancing in a circle on her hind legs and rolling over, these two took home the grand prize of Idahound dog treats, Sun Valley Mustard gift pack and an All Hail the dog cozy dog bed.
All participants received a delicious bag of Sun Valley Mustard Pretzel Chips, generously donated for the event along with fresh baked chocolate chip cookies from a local restaurant Perry’s and coffee from Starbucks, also donated.

Our other trick contest winners also took home schwag from

All Hail the Dog, treats from Idahound and Sun Valley Mustard gift packs.
One other good thing that came out of this fun day in the “park” was a “Park Manners List”. All of the attendees wrote down their ideas for a clean, fun and polite dog park experience and that list will be printed out and displayed at the “park”. We’ll be posting that list for our readers as well; you can take it as is to your local park or add to it and let us all know what else you came up with. Until then, have fun and “doo” the right thing!

Salmonella Dog Food Contamination

Good morning readers, just a quick note today to let you Bravo dog foods and they’re being recalled due to all know about another dog food recall, this one is for salmonella contamination. The foods that they’ve recalled are listed below.

Whether you feed you dogs this brand or any other, knowing the symptoms of salmonella infection is important for any pet owner.

Pets can exhibit lethargy and loss of appetite; other symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, fever and signs of abdominal pain and cramping. It’s important to note that humans are at risk as well just from handing the contaminated food without washing up very well afterwards. Please remember that all pets react differently when in pain or discomfort. Your observations of your pet when they’re well will help you determine quickly when they aren’t. The more you pet, play with and groom your pet, the better you’ll be able to spot abnormalities. I personally know several dogs and cats whose owners saved their lives by noticing even the tiniest of changes. Check the list below to make sure you aren’t feeding any of these foods and then go find a toy and spend some quality time with your furry friend, don’t forget to buy only the best food and dog treats for the dogs in your life.

She doesn't want her picture taken, she wants to eat

She doesn’t want her picture taken, she wants to eat

The following products were recalled:

Raw Food Diet Bravo! Turkey Blend for Dogs and Cats
Size: 2 lb. (32 oz.) plastic tubes
Best used by date: 11-05-15
UPC: 829546311025

Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend Diet for Dogs and Cats
Product Number: 21-102
Size: 2 lb. (32 oz.) plastic tubes
Best used by date: 08-11-16
UPC: 829546211028

Premium Turkey Formula Bravo! Balance Raw Diet
Product Number: 31-405
Size: 5 lb. (80 oz.) 2.3KG plastic tubes
Best used by date: 11-05-15
UPC: 829546314057

Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend Diet for Dogs and Cats
Product Number: 21-105
Size: 5 lb. (80 oz.) 2.3KG plastic tubes
Best used by date: 08-11-16
UPC: 829546211059

In addition, Bravo is voluntarily recalling all sizes (2 lb., 5 lb. and 10 lb.) of Bravo Chicken Blend(s), Bravo Turkey Blend(s), Bravo Balance Chicken Balance and Bravo Balance Premium Turkey Formula frozen raw diet products with “best used by” dates between June 20, 2016 and Sept. 18, 2016. The company says it’s doing that out of “an abundance of caution,” as there has been no evidence of an issue involving those products.

Who’s Watching Fido? A Dog Sitter Dilemma

Leashed and safe.

Leashed and safe.

 

I was at my job at the fire department yesterday, checking the apparatus like we do every morning, when I just happened to glance outside. What I saw was enough to send me out the bay door at a fast pace; a loose dog at the edge of our busy street, getting ready to cross the road. She didn’t have that look of a dog that was well aware of their surroundings, more like she was quite anxious and possibly looking for someone.

To make matters worse, a gentleman was walking his dog on the other side of the road, a site that as we know, can distract even the most street-wise of dogs. As I jogged across the street, a fast moving car (read: speeding) was passing by, the driver looking out the side window at nothing in particular; pretty much a disaster in the works. Luckily for everyone, I headed the dog off at the last second and she trotted into the small park nearby. I tried several times to approach her, but she was obviously very nervous, barking and running away every time I got near her. Even the nice guy walking his dog couldn’t get her near to his pup. I watched as she jumped up a stonewall bordering the park and into a private yard, where the less-than-understanding owner yelled at her and chased her back into the street. As she started an earnest run up the road, I let my captain know what was going on, and jumped in the pick up truck to follow her. Luckily, she was one of those dogs that just loves a ride and I was able to get ahead of her and coax her slowly into the truck.

Later, after getting her comfortable in my car (she was too scared to even walk in to the fire department) I made the usual calls to dispatch and the local veterinarians to let them know her name. Luckily, her owners had been responsible and she had a collar with her name and their phone numbers on it, so even though I couldn’t get them to answer, I did leave messages. About an hour later, I got a call from dispatch saying she had “grandma” on the phone. She had been watching the dog for her daughter while she was away on a trip and could she come get the wayward pooch?

We met up and all was well. But. This is where I get to the point of my story; this was not a new scenario at all, just one that ended well. As my regular readers know, I am very often to be found dog sitting, but I take that responsibility with an enormous amount of forethought and gravity. After all, this is someone’s precious pet and I can’t imagine watching them with anything less than a high level of concern and planning, that’s just the way I am. I won’t even go into the anxiety that ensues if I have to leave town without my dogs, just suffice it to say that dogs aren’t the only ones who suffer from separation issues.

In my job, I’ve unfortunately seen a lot of the bad things that happen when people leave their dogs with a friend to watch, and it’s very often heartbreaking. I’m sure that most of the time the owners are truly thinking that they’re doing what’s best for the dog, but maybe sometimes it’s just was easiest or cheapest for the owner.

This is not a promotion for kennels and boarding facilities, I’ve seen bad things happen there too; it’s just that very often our friends really aren’t prepared for the responsibility of your pet.

I’ve seen dogs hit by cars when they had been trying to make it back home from the sitter’s house, to others lost in the wilderness while out on a hike.

My only point in telling this story is this; even the most well meaning family and friends need all of the tools you can give them to keep your beloved dog safe while you’re away. You need to research commercial kennels and you need to really quiz your potential sitters to make sure they can do the job right. Then you need to give them all of the info about your pooch that will help them do their job well, that means vet info, diet and medication instructions, even walking guidelines (leash anyone?) and play preferences. Often bringing their bowls, a toy or two and their own cozy pet bed from home will also help keep them comfortable while you’re away, and lets not forget current tags and a collar. Most of all, give them the information they need to keep them safe, controlled and off the streets at all times. Oh, and have a nice trip!